Cover Image: Skin Game

Skin Game

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Member Reviews

I have recently decided that this series is no longer for me, I have chosen not to read the first book and therefore can to provide a review for this having not read the first one.
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Skin Game by J.D. Allen is hauntingly dark and twisted, but addictively fascinating. It’s a marvelous dangerous look at the underbelly of life. Definitely a 5-star read.
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This is the second book in the Sin City series and I believe I would have enjoyed this book more if I read the first book of the series.  Much of the backstory and character development seems to be covered in the first book.  Very gritty dealing with the subject of human trafficking which could raise some triggers.
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Vegas PI Jim Bean is watching a man for a case when his ex-fiancee Erica Floyd walks on to the scene. 
Erica has traveled from Boston to find her missing social worker sister Chris. Jim reluctantly agrees to search for Chris. The trail leads to a series of other missing girls, a brutal international human trafficking ring, and a failed casino development in nearby Coyote Springs with links to Jim's nemesis, mobster Andrew Zant. This was a gritty read with plenty of action that put both Erica and Jim in danger as they try to save Chris and get some revenge for the brutalized girls.

I received an eARC via Netgalley and Midnight Ink with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book and provided this review.
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Jim Bean has reinvented himself but can one really ever do that?  That's what's facing him now after he agreed to help his ex-finance Erica find her sister.  He's a PI doing low level stuff now but that doesn't mean he can't get himself into trouble in this effort.  There are lots of bad guys and a topical plot line.  I missed the first book and felt that as a result I missed some nuance here.  It is, nonetheless, a page turner.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.
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Author JD Allen dives into the Vegas underworld in her new novel Skin Game. A timely story dealing with human trafficking. 

Private Investigator Jim Beam is not living his ideal life. He works in Las Vegas mostly chasing cheating husbands and insurance scammers. He drinks too much, and he has a debt to a big-time Vegas crime lord. 

At one time in life, he had been on track to join the FBI. An accusation of a crime he did not commit derailed that. Even after all they had dropped the charges, it was too late. The FBI has passed him over for other new recruits and the love of his life has left him. 

Skin Game finds Jim having to help the ex who left him. He bumps into her as she is looking for her sister. The missing sister is a social worker trying to get women out of prostitution. Everyone assumes her disappearance is linked to a rumored sex trafficking ring. Unfortunately for Jim the crime lord he is beholden to allegedly has a hand this human trafficking. 

There is a tension running under the surface across the book. Jim does not want to work this case. He hates is ex for dumping him, for not believing he was innocent. At the same time, he wants to end this sex trafficking ring. The crime he was accused of was a rape, so saving these missing girls has a personal edge to it. Then add the issue of his debt to the person he might be busting. 

I like the way the author approached the topic of human trafficking. It has been in the headlines lately. Some authors might see the headlines and just craft some poorly conceived a plot to claim a “ripped from the headlines” story. As the plot to Skin Game unfolds the depth to which the author planned the criminal enterprise becomes apparent. The crime lord is not the only one running the trafficking ring, he has some business partners. 

Skin Game will release on February 8, 2019. I would suggest anyone looking for a modern mystery dealing with current topics to pick up a copy. 

A free review copy of the book was provided via NetGalley in exchange for this unbiased review.
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Skin Game by J.D. Allen, this is the 2nd book from this series and I do wish I would have read the 1st one however it is not necessary I think I would have understood Jim B. more.... not a bad book, good characters some you like some you don't. ...thank you Netgalley and the Publishers for allowing me to read this ARC book and give my opinion.
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This is the second in the JD Allen's Sin City Investigations series set in Las Vegas. I had heard a lot about the first book with its great reviews but which I have not read, but my interest was piqued and I picked up this. I have a strong suspicion that I would really have benefited greatly had I read the 1st book as so much here hinged on what happened there. PI Jim Beam's new life is a struggle as he gets used to his new identity after a traumatic and harrowing past that blew his life apart. He has run of the mill surveillance cases involving partners that might be cheating when who should enter his life but his ex-girlfriend, Erica Floyd, a woman who has shown precious little trust in him. Erica is searching for her missing sister. As you can probably imagine, Jim has serious misgivings about getting involved in Erica's plight but eventually agrees to help look for her sister, which is to trigger the return of his haunted past for him. Jim could hardly have forseen the dangers that he is to find himself in, such as the horrors of the heartwrenching world of human trafficking and powerful and ruthless mobsters. This is an entertaining and suspenseful thriller but I found my experience of it marred by failing to read the first novel, so suggest readers read that first. Many thanks to Midnight Ink for an ARC.
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P.I. Jim Bean works in Vegas, mostly surveillance of cheating husbands ... his life did not go quite as planned. He’s struggling financially, he drinks too much and he’s angry. While working a surveillance case, he runs into his ex-fiancé, Erica Floyd, who is in Vegas looking for her missing sister. Against his better judgement, he agrees to help her, and they find themselves involved with big time mobsters and human trafficking.

This book deals with the ugly, evil side of humanity, a side most of us would rather not acknowledge exists. The story is dark and grim, without a ‘feel good’ ending, but definitely worth reading. The plot is intricate and well written and I strongly recommend it.
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A decade ago young Korey Anders was on a trajectory through law school and toward the FBI. Then he was arrested for aggravated rape. The charge didn't stick, but the damage was done and a life destroyed. Today, Korey stumbles along with a new name, a new city, new debts to local gangland, and a new – but growing – friendship with a whiskey bottle.

Jim Bean is making it as a private investigator, but only barely, when his world is blown apart again when his old girlfriend, the one who believed the lying woman and not him, traces her lost sister to his doorstep. Pain, anger, anguish ensue as a lost-girl-in-Vegas story turns into something much darker.

Like the first book in this series, it's not the most original plot but it is well enough written. The book's a bit long for my taste. Erica the ex is not such a great character.

Conclusion? It's not a top drawer thriller but worth reading because Jim Bean will be back and perhaps the next story will be stronger. It's worth starting with the first in the series.
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I was obsessed with J.D Allens first book! I loved it so much and I recommended it to everyone and anyone I knew. When i saw she had a new book coming out I was overjoyed. I moved it to the top of my to be read pile but I was left disappointed. Perhaps my expectations were to high. 

After the last book I loved Jim. He was a rough lone cowboy type that had a heart hidden underneath the facade. I didn't get that from this book. He seemed more like an asshole less of a caring guy. I absolutely hated Erica. She drove me crazy. I feel like she was supposed to come off as a loving sister doing anything to find her sister safely, but all I kept seeing was an annoying person who didn't understand her limits. She never listened, she wanted to do what she wanted to do cause she was paying and that was that.

I didn't mind the story line, and perhaps I've watched a little too much Law and Order, but it was a tad predictable. I loved that Oscar was included more and we got to learn more about his background. I also really liked that Ely and Annie made reappearances..

Overall it was an alright book and as I said perhaps if I went in with lower intentions I would have really liked it. For the time being I would give it a 3.5 but since I can only give full stars it will have to stay at a 3.
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Skin Game

By J. D. Allen

1 star.


After reading the first quarter of the book and not yet finding a hook or a reason to continue reading I gave up.

This is the second book in the series, and fails dramatically to reach the same pace or interest as the first.

Private investigator Jim Bean has worked hard to create his new identity in Vegas. He doesn't have a great life, but it's his. When his ex-fiancée Erica Floyd walks into one of his investigations looking for her missing sister, the tragic past he wanted to leave behind comes flooding back. 

Despite serious reservations, Jim agrees to search for Erica's sister. Clues lead him to a human trafficking ring and one of Vegas's most influential mobsters. Unless Jim can face the ghosts of his past, the anger of his present, and a new enemy out for his blood, four women will suffer a fate worse than death

There are better things to do with my time then read this book.

Thank you to Netgalley for providing a review copy in return for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

#SkinGame   #NetGalley

Reviewed by Heath Henwood
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“You show up here with your high-dollar suit and your sad eyes and you expect me to drop what little is left of my life...” so is the relationship between PI Jim Bean and his client and former love interest who comes to him in Sin City to find her missing sister, a victim of sex trafficking. Action abounds in this the second novel of the Sin City series as a flawed, but honorable protagonist fights against a villain whose power extends not only to the organized crime world but also into the ranks of the police department.
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Raw in your face action in the seedy side of Vegas and beyond, intense suspense, intriguing romance angle, highly recommend
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